Friday, May 23, 2008

A well-oiled writing machine

I hired an awesome business coach, Robin M. Powers when I started my writing business. Robin's not a professional writer, but is so smart, supportive, and insightful, and could probably help anyone start any kind of business under the sun.

Anyway, part of the coaching involved working through the book The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.
In a nutshell, the book talks about systematizing your business as if it were going to become a franchise. You know how when you go to McDonalds, it's always the same? And if you were to buy a McD's franchise, you'd get exact specifications for how to cook a burger, how long to fry the fries, and every other detail imaginable. You essentially buy a turn-key business. That's one reason a McD's franchise is so expensive - all the systems have been developed already.

"Hey, I'm writing - not flipping burgers! And I'm not planning to franchise my writing business."

Yeah, that's what I said, too. Until I realized how brilliant the whole concept of systematizing is.

I think I read somewhere that Tiger Woods golfs using an S.O.P., or Standard Operating Procedure. Meaning, he does the right things the right way every time - and that means he can focus on the nuances of each shot rather than sweating the details that remain constant from hole to hole.

The more you can systematize your writing business, the less stress you'll have. The less time you spend reinventing the wheel, the more time you've got for truly productive activity.

How's Guru help with that? One way is with the bidding templates. Once you get your templates into good shape, you can customize them to fit each project's details, each client's needs. But you won't have to rewrite the whole thing every time you go to bid on a project.

In fact, after a while, you can even hire an assistant to place bids for you! With a system in place, it's a lot easier to teach someone else how to do it - and a standing principle is to make the highest best use of your time by having others do what they can so you can do what only you can do.

What steps have you taken to systematize your writing business?

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